Social Contract

November 24, 2008

We are all a part of the social contract.  I think that we can say that the sovereign has made an agreement to give up some rights.  In a child’s case I think that they are a part of the social contract that they can understand, and that which they cannot it is their parents or guardians job to take over for them.  And in the case of the person because of material limitations cannot easily opt out of the social contract, they are still reaping the benefits of it whether they like it or not, so it is up to them to try and change these material limitations and then act on it.

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Rationality

November 24, 2008

The issue of rationality to us as humans is completely necessary to our everyday lives and ultimately survival.  Rationality and self-interest or self-love are all connected.  Without rationality we would not have our self-interest or self-love in mind.  For example, I would guess that there would not be many rational people out there that have no training that would step into a cage with Brock Lesnar.  However, there are a few that probably would with no training, and then there are those that would with training.  To me, that would be a decision that does not really have your self-interest or self-love in mind, but in some extreme cases it might.

Kant and Mill

November 24, 2008

Looking back at both Kant and Mill’s theories I do not think that I could choose between them based soley on which one has the least troubling problems.  I believe that both theories have problems with them and I do not agree with everything that they say.  For example with Kant when talking about charity, I cannot fully grasp this special feeling that he talks about when donating to charity, I have personally never met anyone that has felt bad when donating something to charity, but at the same time I know people that have felt good, but that good feeling might not be good enough.

Hobbe’s state of nature

November 24, 2008

I do not agree with Hobbe’s and his state of nature when his conception of the state of nature combined with the finiteness of the world’s resources, will necessarily lead to a state of war.  If this war were to happen I think that it would have happened already.  People are always competing with each other and the government but of those people the majority come to some sort of an agreement and most people are not revolutionists.  However, I do agree with him when he says that if this war were to happen it would be the worst situation imaginable.

Morality and government

November 20, 2008

Morality and government have to have some sort of connection, if they did not than everyone would be running around doing whatever they wanted fearing no sort of consequences.  I believe that governments/sovereigns are subject to moral judgment.  Most governements out there are moral, and try to provide the best for the people, however there may be a few individuals in the government that act irrationally and immorally.  For example their are corrupt governemnt officials out there that have stolen money from the people among many other things and have broken according to Hobbes a social contract.  A contract in some cases in which the people have intrusted in elected officials to uphold laws and ultimately morals, and they have taken advantage of their positions.  So, the governemnt must be moral, and if it is not than there would be a serious problem.

Categorical Imperative

November 3, 2008

In class we discussed Kant’s categorical imperative which basically said that something would be moral if you were to ask someone to do something and they had to do it along with everyone else.  The example that we used in class was cheating on a test.  According to Kant, cheating on a test would be immoral.  People would cheat on a test to get a good grade, if everyone cheated everyone would get a good grade.  However, if everyone cheated, they would be cheating themselves and not know the material, and basically be lying about what they know.  So here we said that in order to stop this the teacher would stop giving exams, and start testing students other ways where there would be no cheating.

Utilitarianism and moral agents

October 30, 2008

In my opinion utilitarianism does demand a lot of moral agents.  With every decision that you make following utilitarianism you would have to benefit the greatest amount of people that you can.  Sometimes this is not possible.  Let’s say that you own your own business and that rent is due on the storefront that you are leasing.  You have two choices either pay five workers to continue working for you, and not be able to pay the rent, or fire fire three guys and keep two and save your business.  Any good businessman would pick the second option, but that would not be a utilitarian thing to do.

Morality and overall happiness

October 30, 2008

Morality can’t be about increasing overall happiness because happiness is unattainable.  If this statement was true this would be an extremely sad world that we live in.  If someone did a moral act such as helping the homeless by donating food, clothes, etc. that would be a moral act, increase the overall happiness of people, and I’m pretty sure make some people who were hungry and cold happy.

Intrinsic value and happiness

October 30, 2008

I do not believe that there is any way to tell what happiness is or wut kind of happiness someone has.  Each person is unique in their own way and therefore their personal happiness would be something hard to judge.  However, if intrinisic value is value not dependent with relationships with any external entities then I would say that happiness does hold some intrinsic value.

John Mill

October 27, 2008

If I could ask John Mill one question I would ask him how he deciphers between higher and lower pleasures.  I think that Mill might respond to this question by saying that higher pleasures are ones that humans can feel and lower pleasures are ones that other, lower beings such as animals can feel.  But what deciphers the difference between pleasures for people, what might give one person a great amount of pleasure might give another person no pleasure or perhaps even the opposite.  So, I do not know exactly how Mill would respond to this question, but I’m sure that he would have a response to it.